Tedious Quilting?

I am working on a quilt that has tedious / boring quilting! The quilt (it is my own quilt, not a customer quilt)  is going to look beautiful when completed but until then, it is BORING to quilt! This happens every once in a while – it is just part of being a machine quilter.

Everyone has their own idea of what is boring or tedious to quilt. I personally think cross hatching is tedious and try to do as little as possible. You may love doing cross hatching, and that’s OK. Some pantographs and repetitive free hand designs are tedious / boring to quilt. Sometimes it may not be the quilting, but the QUILT that makes the project tedious. Maybe the colors are “ugly”, don’t go together well or it’s a piecing pattern that you detest!

What do you do when this happens? I have a smart phone with aps for radio stations, music and podcasts. I put my earphones in, plug them into the phone and get into my own little world.  If the quilt is large, I will number the rows so that I can see some progress in my quilting.

A quilting friend said that she keeps a dish of chocolate at the far end of her quilting machine. When she finishes a row of quilting she rewards herself with a piece of candy. (I like that idea!) If you don’t want candy as a reward, maybe a sip of iced tea or other (maybe adult?) beverage.

As I find myself working on some tedious quilting, I took a break and I’m writing this post. (Some may call this “stalling.”)

My question to you is – What do YOU do when faced with boring or tedious quilting? What do you do to make the job easier or at least not quite so boring? Post your answer in the “Leave Your Comments” section. If you have a story about a boring / tedious quilt, write about that.

I look forward to hearing about YOUR boring quilting suggestions!


About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 10 and quilting forever!

17 Responses to Tedious Quilting?

  1. PJ says:

    Bored? I never thought of that. I never get to quilt long enough to get bored. That is also why i never give dates as to when they will be done. . .by the time I do the accounting on my two stores (one is a quilting retreat), get my pre-natals done (I’m a midwife too) and catch a few babies here and there not to mention keeping up with my own 6 children and 10 grandchildren. . .I never get to quilt in a long enough spurt to get bored. . .

  2. i commit to quilting for a certain time period, usually a half hour or an hour. Then I’ll let myself do something else. It’s always surprising how much I can get done in an hour.

  3. Pat Chapman says:

    With the holidays coming I had 3 customers in a row who wanted edge to edge snow flakes. That and the fact that we just broke snow fall records for November, by the third quilt I was so sick of snow flakes! My answer was to just hurry and get them done and out the door.

  4. Fran Foskey says:

    I am presently quilting a quilt that the owner wanted me to use invisible thread. I talked her out of doing that, but all the great quilting I am doing is not able to be seen. The quilt is so busy it loses all the pretty designs. I feel that I am wasting my time and effort. The backing is busy blue fabric so nothing will show on the backside. I cannot wait to finished the border, bind it and get it out of my studio. Lots of work, tedious and frustrating.

  5. Caryn says:

    I either go sit and watch part of a TV show or play on my computer, which is what I have been doing for my current quilt. Sometimes, I just play the Smooth Jazz music station on the TV as background.

  6. mageez says:

    i do the same as Jeannette. down load books from audible.com and plug into my mp3. i really expected when i started long arming that i’d enjoy it. not!. as far as i’m concerned it’s all boring. my reward is taking it off the machine, standing back and thinking ‘that’s beautiful.’

  7. I like to keep my next project hanging nearby so I can see what is coming down the road. I like to listen to audio books or the radio too. Sometimes though, I just need to take it off, do an quick edge to edge job and then come back to it. This just happened last week :0)

  8. Comedy! That is my answer to a tedious quilt, when I am not in the mood to quilt, when something else might be playing on my mind. I listen through Pandora. I like many LA’ers listen to books as well. My hubby has wired a cordless camera (on a TV in my room) that is at my front door so I can see if anyone comes. I really like the idea of a treat at the end of the row or a 15 minute walk outside! Great Idea.

  9. Sue says:

    I take a break and look at all the beautiful quilts on Facebook or Pintrest. That gets me fired up to finish so I can move on to something more pretty

  10. Nancy says:

    I do “sections” at a time, rolling through the quilt with one thread color, then back thru with the other thread colors. Eventually the quilt is done. It’s progress to change from one thread color to the next. I do a lot of “tedious” ruler work at times! I’ve tried my MP3 player with ear buds, but can’t hear the bobbin if it glitches, or the doorbell with a customer on the porch…..oops! Sometimes I do crank up the radio, more so if the rooster next door is making a racket. (Jeannette, I love Gabaldon’s books too, have them all) I look at the hyperquilting on the Pinterest boards, and think although its beautiful, it’s way too time consuming and TEDIOUS!!!!

  11. Margaret Landon says:

    When that happens to me I remember something YOU posted a while ago……just keep on keeping on and get it done! Remember?

  12. Kay says:

    I just finished a large quilt of my own where each block was different. It took me about five days to complete it. I download audiobooks from my local library and listen to them while I’m quilting. it seems to make the quilting go faster. Sort of like killing two birds with one stone.

  13. threadtales says:

    Boy, I hear you! I actually “retired” a couple of my freehand edge to edges for a while because I could not face quilting them on another king-sized quilt…I often play one of my Pandora stations while quilting…music or comedians…depends on the mood I am in…I tried listening to books but I have to be very selective…I have to really like the narrator’s voice. If it is nice outside I will sometimes tell myself “After this row you can go for a half hour walk.”

  14. One row iswhat I tell myself and if Ihave time two. I dont quilt full time so i can get away with one row a day. Ifind i get tons done one row at a time.

  15. Jeannette says:

    Great topic! I download audio books from audible.com (through Amazon Prime) and also have app to download free audio books from public library. Use Bluetooth earphone to listen to my IPad. This is how I got hooked on the Outlander series by Diane Gabaldon. (I initially picked the longest books I could find so I could get my money’s worth.) Jeannette Ruark Jeannette’s Hill Country Quilting http://Www.quiltlady440.com

    Sent from my iPad


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